On Thursday, I possibly had the busiest day I have ever had, and may ever have during my tenure at the firm.
In the process of catering to 480 attorneys and their mildly rediculous requests, which came on the eve of their all-important meetings, I was also getting all sorts of last minute requests the day of the all-important meetings and even after their all-important meetings had started. See, this week, almost all of the attorneys from the firm offices around the country and around the word descended on our office, the home office, in Houston.
Note- all meetings started at 3:00pm on Thursday
Request #1- 6pm Wednesday- Jen, I would like a Margarita party for 100 people with chips, queso, guac, and salsa. I would also like beer, wine and champaign.
*Easy enough, I, of course, pre-predicted reqeusts for beer and wine and made sure we were fully stocked for such requests. However when I called to get frozen margaritas for 100, my only option seemed to be a margarita machine, which we are not allowed to have because they trip breakers when we are running 16 PowerPoints on one floor. And they won't bring them pre-mixed because there is some crazy law that you cannot transport 8 vats of open liquor accross town. OK GREAT! How does one solve this problem? She finds hereself a restaurant that will totally violate the liquor laws of the great state of Texas. Thank God for law breakers.
Request #2- 6:30pm Wednesday evening- Jen, I would like a full bar with peanuts, pretzels and chips.
*Well, what does full bar mean? Beer and wine? Liquor with mixers? Do you need a bartender? I get all kinds of requests for "full bar" which doesn't actually mean full bar with bartender, but just means beer, wine and their favorite mixed drink, which they will make everyone drink because they are so fabulous that everyone should love what they choose for them. Yes, we have some pompus attorneys running around our office.
Request #3- 7:27pm Wednesday evening- See request #1, but for 75 people. Solution- the same.
Request #4- 2:30pm Wednesday afternoon- Ice cream party for 15. No problem, called the vendor, it's all ready for delivery Thursday at 1:00pm. This was the easiest.
Request #5- 2:45pm Thursday (day of, meetings starting at 3:00pm) I happen to walk into party #2 and get-- Jen, I didn't know we could get chips and queso for our parties. Can I get some now? Oh sure- I say. I do work wonders these days.
Request #6- 2:58pm Thursday (as I'm making sure everything is ready for the 3:00 meetings)- I get this email from an admin: Dear Jen, I need you to call me right away. I'm supposed to bring the turkey for the secretary pot-luck Thanksgiving luncheon, but I've had a family emergency pop up and I wanted to know if you could store the turkey, heat it up, slice it for me and take it to the potluck on Friday at noon. And I respond- Oh sure, in the middle of feeding 480 people lunch on Friday, I'll be sure to take care of your little turkey. NO! I cannot. Please people- take care of your own turkeys for your own Thanksgiving potlucks, or ask someone else in your department to do it, but I cannot help you. The kicker to this request is that she then procedes to call me from home on Friday asking if the person she did leave in charge of the turkey can borrow a knife from us. Again- NO! I can't lend out a knife when I have 3 chefs preparing food in my kitchen, all slicing beef tenderloin for your attorneys. Are you crazy- do you not know that all of your attorneys from all of the offices around the world are here having lunch in my Conference Center? When I refused to answer her emails and voicemails, she started calling my receptionists and making them page me on our wireless radios- that really pissed me off. Do you not think that if I had the time to call you or email you back that I would have. I finally told everyone- if Estella Byers calls, I'm not available, you don't even have to ask.
The great part about this week is that even with all of the maddness, I managed everything so smoothly that there was not one hiccup. My boss even said to me "I actually slept, knowing that you were in charge." and "Jen, you did an amazing job" and my favorite "I've never worked with someone before who I could truely collaborate with, and who holds the same things important." I feel really great about this last week. I think I'm mastering my career.